Monday, February 20, 2012
Brand BBQ Market
Not all barbecue places are created equally and some do do things much better than others. Brand BBQ Market opened in my neighborhood a couple of years ago and after my first try, I have to say that while the place looked nice and rustic, I was really unimpressed with their food. When I first went there, I noticed that they have a wide variety of meats that they barbecue and an even bigger variety of sauces. There are seven sauces on the menu that vary widely in flavor from the Classic, a sweet and aromatic tomato based sauce, to the Bourbon Mustard, a mixture of bourbon, mustard and brown sugar, to Sweet Southern Peach, a mixture of Southern Comfort and peaches. The meats include pork (of course), brisket, smokey links, duck and venison. I have tried several sandwiches and while they aren't bad, they also aren't exceptional. What they do do exceptionally well is their burnt ends mac and cheese which I have eaten every time since I have discovered it. There have been a few things that I haven't tried including the ribs and pulled duck (surprisingly) so I decided to try these out. I ordered the pulled duck sampler as an appetizer. As I have said before, I really like duck and this duck was good. It was tender and it tasted good but it was light on the smoke. The meat was unsauced so you could use whatever sauce that you thought might work best. The Signature sauce, which is a mixture of vinegar, brown sugar and cayenne or the Brandy Cherry were recommended but for me, I thought the Bourbon Mustard worked best.As I have been eating baby back ribs when I go to different barbecue joints, that is what I ordered. They came with cornbread, coleslaw, and one side. As I said earlier, the burnt end mac and cheese is exceptional so that was what I ordered. The mac and cheese was great as always, the cornbread was good. It was a sweeter type of cornbread so for those people that like there cornbread on the savory side, it might not be for them. The coleslaw was made with red cabbage and had a light sauce. It's a little different but it is pretty good. The ribs were dry rubbed and tasted pretty good but were also light on the smoke and a knife was required to separate the bones. I tried the different sauces with each rib and decided that I liked the Smoky Spicy, Classic sauce combined with Chipotle peppers, the Bourbon Mustard, and the Brandy Cherry. While being able to choose a sauce to go with your meat, I think I prefer barbecue that is smoked well and has fewer but very well made sauces.
While Brand is not my favorite barbecue place, the service is good and the burnt end mac and cheese is great. I will be coming back if for nothing else than to have more of that mac and cheese.